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The Lovell Sisters 

New-school bluegrass

There are a slew of brother acts in traditional country and bluegrass -- the Delmores, the Stanleys, the Louvins -- but sister acts are quite rare. The Lovell sisters, from the North Georgia town of Calhoun, are about to change that.

Twenty-one-year-old Jessica; Megan, 18; and Rebecca, 16, formed their contemporary acoustic band a mere three years ago, but the sisters have already made major marks. A chance entry into the 2005 "Prairie Home Companion" Teen Talent Competition led to a shocking victory and was the springboard for the release of their debut album, When Forever Rolls Around, later that year.

All three learned to play violin at a young age, while Megan and Rebecca also took piano lessons. But Megan may have been the trailblazer in the band's bluegrass direction. "I heard Jerry Douglas' Slide Rule album," she says, "and it was love at first sight." Inspired by Douglas' virtuosity, she picked up the dobro. Rebecca joined in and choose the mandolin, and it only took her a few years to become the first female to capture the prestigious MerleFest Mandolin Contest. "It was quite an honor, and has given me the opportunity to meet and play [with] some of my idols, such as Adam Steffey and Chris Thiele," says Rebecca.

From such humble gigs as the Cabbagetown Stomp & Chomp in Atlanta to the prestigious Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival in Ireland, the Lovells are in demand all over the world.

In addition to completing their education, the Lovells recently signed a development deal with Lyric Street Records, and will soon begin work on their second album. "We want to stay true to what we do," says Rebecca. "And we want to fuse musical genres to make something new."

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